Sunday, March 20, 2011

"70s Fashion Fiascos" by Maureen Valdes Marsh

Or to give it its full title: 70s Fashion Fiascos: Studio 54 to Saturday Night Fever: Your Guide to the Funky, Flashy Looks of the 1970s, Where Disco Never Dies and Denim Never Fades.

With a title like that you'd expect this book to be only 112 pages of mockery and polyester.  However it is definitely more than that.  Maureen Valdes Marsh covers the trends of the 70s - from mini-skirts to granny dresses, from leisure suits to pants suits - with a light and humorous touch, but conveys a wealth of information about the social and sartorial trends of the decade as well.  For instance, how many people have heard of a "pants in"?  Or understand the role of nurses in making trousers acceptable wear for women in the workplace?

The author is a collector of vintage catalogs and fashion magazines, so the book is lavishly illustrated with pictures from contemporary American mail order catalogs such as Sears, J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward and Aldens. 

(Published by Collectors Press, 2006.  ISBN 9781933112268)

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